Q. Atal Innovation Mission is set up under the

(a) Department of Science and Technology

(b) Ministry of Labour and Employment

(c) NITI Aayog

(d) Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

Answer: (c) NITI Aayog

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)
  • The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) is a flagship initiative set up by the NITI Aayog in 2016 to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across the length and breadth of the country.
  • AlM’s objectives are to create and promote an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship across the country at school, university, research institutions, MSME and industry levels.
  • The Atal Innovation Mission has following two core functions:
    • Entrepreneurship promotion through Self-Employment and Talent Utilization, wherein innovators would be supported and mentored to become successful entrepreneurs.
    • Innovation promotion: to provide a platform where innovative ideas are generated.
  • Initiatives under Atal Innovation Mission (AIM):
    • Atal New India Challenge
    • Atal Incubation Center
    • Atal Tinkering Lab
    • Mentor India
    • Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE – Atal New India Challenge (ANIC) Program
    • Atal Community Innovation Centre
Atal Tinkering Lab
  • The vision of Atal Tinkering Lab initiative is to ‘Cultivate 1 Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’. 
  • At the school level, AIM is setting up state of the art Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) across all districts across the country. These ATLs are dedicated innovation workspaces of 1000-1500 square feet where do-it-yourself (DIY) kits on latest technologies like 3D Printers, Robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), Miniaturized electronics are installed using a grant of Rs 20 Lakhs from the government so that students from Grade VI to Grade XII can tinker with these technologies and learn to create innovative solutions using these technologies. This will enable create a problem solving, innovative mind set within millions of students across the country.
  • More than just grants, the ATL program is undertaking on-the-ground activities to engage students and teachers in identifying problems in and around their communities and creating innovative solutions leveraging the ATL technologies to achieve the objectives of the program. Every school would have an ATL In charge appointed by the school as well as Mentors associated to mentor the ATL students. All ATL in charges to date have received training through AIM and its partners.
  • AICTE (All India Council of Technical Education) is also partnering with AIM to ensure that the closest universities to a school can also mentor ATL students. Atal Innovation Tinkering challenges are regularly held in the school as well as by AIM every month to ensure students active involvement in creating innovative solutions to solve problems in their community and in the country.

Q. For the measurement/estimation of which of the following are satellite images/remote sensing data used?

  1. Chlorophyll content in the vegetation of a specific location
  2. Greenhouse gas emissions from rice paddies of a specific location
  3. Land surface temperatures of a specific location

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 Only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Remote Sensing
  • Remote sensing is the acquiring of information from a distance. Remote sensing is the process of detecting and monitoring the physical characteristics of an area by measuring its reflected and emitted radiation at a distance (typically from satellite or aircraft).
  • Special cameras collect remotely sensed images, which help researchers “sense” things about the Earth. Some examples are:
    • Cameras on satellites and airplanes take images of large areas on the Earth’s surface, allowing us to see much more than we can see when standing on the ground.
    • Sonar systems on ships can be used to create images of the ocean floor without needing to travel to the bottom of the ocean.
    • Cameras on satellites can be used to make images of temperature changes in the oceans.
  • Some specific uses of remotely sensed images of the Earth include:
    • Large forest fires can be mapped from space, allowing rangers to see a much larger area than from the ground.
    • Tracking clouds to help predict the weather or watching erupting volcanoes, and help watching for dust storms.
    • Tracking the growth of a city and changes in farmland or forests over several years or decades.
    • Discovery and mapping of the rugged topography of the ocean floor (e.g., huge mountain ranges, deep canyons, and the “magnetic striping” on the ocean floor).
    • With the development of remote sensing from space, satellite data offers the possibility for measuring land surface temperature over the entire globe with sufficiently high temporal resolution and with complete spatially averaged rather than point values.
    • It is also possible to measure chlorophyll content in the vegetation of a specific location as chlorophyll will reflect more light in the green and near infrared spectrum compared to other wavelengths.
    • Remote sensing from satellites can also deliver information on green house gas(GHGs) soil emissions by estimating tropospherical, near-surface CO2 and CH4 concentrations based on the measurement of the intensity of the reflected sunlight in small wavelength bands in the visible and short-wavelength IR portion of the spectrum.
Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) Satellite System
  • The launch of India’s first civilian IRS-1A spacecraft in March 1988 marked the start of a successful journey for the Indian Space Programme.
  • The National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS) governs Indian Earth Observation activities.
  • The Indian Earth Observation (EO) system has been providing operational services to the user community with a slew of payloads in the thematic series of Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS) and the INSAT systems.
  • The Indian Remote Sensing Satellite System operates one of the world’s largest constellations of remote sensing satellites.
  • IRS satellites provide data at various spatial, spectral, and temporal resolutions.
  • The National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) serves as the hub for the distribution of remote sensing satellite data products in India and neighbouring countries.
  • NRSC has an earth station in Shadnagar, about 55 kilometres from Hyderabad, that receives data from nearly all modern remote sensing satellites.
  • IRS Satellites:
    • IRS-1A and IRS-1B
      • IRS-1A and IRS-1B were both launched in 1988 and 1991.
      • These satellites were designed primarily for remote sensing applications such as cartography, land use mapping, and forestry.
      • They had a spatial resolution of 36 metres and a 148-kilometer swath width.
    • IRS-1C and IRS-1D
      • IRS-1C and IRS-1D were both launched in 1995 and 1997.
      • With a spatial resolution of 5.8 metres and a swath width of 140 kilometres, these satellites outperformed their predecessors.
      • They were used for a variety of purposes, including mineral exploration, coastal monitoring, and disaster management.
    • Resourcesat-1, Resourcesat-2
      • Resourcesat-1 was launched in 2003, followed by Resourcesat-2 in 2011.
      • These satellites were designed primarily for resource mapping and management applications such as soil moisture mapping, crop inventory, and forestry.
      • They had a swath width of 23 kilometres and a spatial resolution of 5.8 metres.
    • Cartosat-1, Cartosat-2 and Cartosat-3
      • Cartosat-1, Cartosat-2, and Cartosat-3, respectively, were launched in 2005, 2007, and 2019.
      • These satellites were used for cartography as well as high-resolution imaging.
      • The spatial resolution of Cartosat-1 was 2.5 metres, while Cartosat-2 and Cartosat-3 were 1 metre.
      • Cartosat-1 data is used to create cartographic maps, update cadastral mapping, and create GIS applications.
      • Cartosat-3 also had the ability to capture hyperspectral images.
    • RISAT-1 and RISAT-2
      • RISAT-1 and RISAT-2 were both launched in 2009 and 2012.
      • These satellites were equipped with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors, which allowed them to capture images of the Earth even when it was cloudy or dark.
      • The spatial resolution of RISAT-1 was 3.6 metres, while that of RISAT-2 was 1 metre.
    • Oceansat-1 and Oceansat-2
      • Oceansat-1 was launched in 1999, followed by Oceansat-2 in 2009.
      • These satellites were used for oceanographic applications such as mapping sea surface temperature, ocean colour, ocean wind vectors, chlorophyll concentrations are measured, phytoplankton blooms monitoring, and atmospheric aerosols and suspended sediments in the water are investigated.
    • Resourcesat-3
      • Resourcesat-3, which was launched in 2021, is the most recent addition to India’s fleet of remote sensing satellites.
      • This satellite is outfitted with cutting-edge sensors capable of capturing images with a spatial resolution of 5.8 metres and a swath width of 120 kilometres.
      • The primary application of Resourcesat-3 is for resource mapping and management applications such as crop monitoring, forestry, and water resource management.
    • SARAL
      • SARAL, or Satellite with ARgos and ALtiKa, is an ISRO and CNES (Space Agency of France) cooperative altimetry technology mission that was successfully launched on February 25, 2013.
      • The overall goals are to assess operational oceanography development, climate understanding, and forecasting capabilities.

Q. With reference to communication technologies, what is/are the difference/differences between LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution)?

  1. LTE is commonly marketed as 3G and VoLTE is commonly marketed as advanced 3G.
  2. LTE is data-only technology and VoLTE is voice-only technology.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (d) Neither 1 nor 2

  • LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. It is a model for high-speed data communication systems, also called 4G. This means you can utilize internet service at the 4G speed.
  • It has the capacity to provide a download speed of 100 Mbps and an uploading speed of 50 Mbps.
  • It does not provide good quality voice calls while using the data services.
  • Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) is a standard for high-speed wireless communication for mobile phones and data terminals.
  • Under the earlier LTE, the infrastructure of telecom players only allows transmission of data while voice calls are routed to their older 2G or 3G networks. Thus under LTE, one cannot access the 4G data services while on a call.
  • On the other hand, VoLTE, a technology update to the LTE protocol, allows voice calls to be ‘packaged’ and carried through LTE networks. This would mean 4G data accessibility even during calls.
Vo5G (Voice over 5G)
  • It is also known as Voice over New Radio (VoNR).
  • This standard allows voice calls over 5G networks instead of the current standard that uses 4G.
  • In simple terms, Vo5G takes all the improvements of 5G – speed, capacity, responsiveness – and applies them squarely to voice.
  • It aims to have all that infrastructure and interoperability ready well in advance.
  • To use Vo5G, you need three things: a phone that supports Vo5G, a carrier that offers Vo5G, and a 5G signal in your area.
  • VoNR vs. VoLTE: The Advancements
    • Call Quality: VoNR offers superior call quality with advanced audio codecs, thanks to 5G’s higher bandwidth.
    • Connection Time: Reduced network latency in 5G ensures faster call connections with VoNR.
    • Reliability: VoNR promises better call continuity with lower packet loss, potentially reducing voice cut-outs.
    • Network Transition: VoNR aims to eliminate call drops experienced during the transition from 5G to 4G for VoLTE calls.

Q. In the context of digital technologies for entertainment, consider the following statements:

  1. In Augmented Reality (AR), a simulated environment is created and the physical world is completely shut out.
  2. In Virtual Reality (VR), images generated from a computer are projected onto real-life objects or surroundings.
  3. AR allows individuals to be present in the world and improves the experience using the camera of smart-phone or PC.
  4. VR closes the world, and transposes an individual, providing complete immersion experience.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 and 4
(c) 1, 2 and 3
(d) 4 only

Answer: (b) 3 and 4

Augmented Reality
  • Augmented reality is an interactive experience that enhances the real world with computer-generated perceptual information.
  • Using software, apps, and hardware such as AR glasses, augmented reality overlays digital content onto real-life environments and objects.
Virtual Reality
  • Virtual reality, or VR, removes people from the real world and fully immerses them in a virtual world using a head-mounted display or headset.
  • In that virtual world of imagery and sounds, users can move around in all directions, manipulate objects, and more. VR is often used in healthcare, architecture, and education.  
Mixed Reality
  • Mixed Reality (MR) blends imagination and reality so that users can both see and interact with the real world and the virtual environment simultaneously.
  • Think of playing a virtual video game while drinking real coffee and offering an imaginary character some of your coffee in your game – you’re mixing realities. 
VR AR and MR

Q. With reference to the recent developments in science, which one of the following statements is not correct?

(a) Functional chromosomes can be created by joining segments of DNA taken from cells of different species.

(b) Pieces of artificial functional DNA can be created in laboratories.

(c) A piece of DNA taken out from an animal cell can be made to replicate outside a living cell in a laboratory.

(d) Cells taken out from plants and animals can be made to undergo cell division in laboratory petri dishes.

Answer: (a) Functional chromosomes can be created by joining segments of DNA taken from cells of different species.

  • Artificial chromosomes can be created by joining segments of DNA taken from cells of different species.
    • Functional chromosomes can not be created using DNA taken from cells of different species.
  • Scientists at Cambridge University have created the world’s first living organism that has a fully synthetic and radically altered DNA code.
    • Pieces of artificial functional DNA can be created in laboratories and this process is known as Artificial Gene Synthesis.
  • A piece of DNA taken out from an animal cell can be made to replicate outside a living cell in a laboratory and this is called cloning.
  • Cells taken out from plants and animals can be made to undergo cell division in laboratory Petri dishes and this is a process of plant and animal tissue culture technology.
Tissue culture
  • Tissue culture (TC) is the cultivation of plant cells, tissues, or organs on specially formulated nutrient media. Under the right conditions, an entire plant can be regenerated from a single cell.
  • The cultured tissue may consist of a single cell, a population of cells, or a whole or part of an organ.
  • Cells in culture may multiply; change size, form, or function; exhibit specialized activity (muscle cells, for example, may contract); or interact with other cells.
  • Cloning is a technique scientists use to make exact genetic copies of living things. Genes, cells, tissues, and even whole animals can all be cloned.
  • Some clones already exist in nature.
    • Single-celled organisms like bacteria make exact copies of themselves each time they reproduce. In humans, identical twins are similar to clones. They share almost the exact same genes. Identical twins are created when a fertilized egg splits in two.
  • Scientists also make clones in the lab.
    • They often clone genes in order to study and better understand them. To clone a gene, researchers take DNA from a living creature and insert it into a carrier like bacteria or yeast. Every time that carrier reproduces, a new copy of the gene is made.
  • Animals are cloned in one of two ways.
    • The first is called embryo twinning. Scientists first split an embryo in half. Those two halves are then placed in a mother’s uterus. Each part of the embryo develops into a unique animal, and the two animals share the same genes.
    • The second method is called somatic cell nuclear transfer. Somatic cells are all the cells that make up an organism, but that are not sperm or egg cells. Sperm and egg cells contain only one set of chromosomes, and when they join during fertilization, the mother’s chromosomes merge with the father’s. Somatic cells, on the other hand, already contain two full sets of chromosomes. To make a clone, scientists transfer the DNA from an animal’s somatic cell into an egg cell that has had its nucleus and DNA removed. The egg develops into an embryo that contains the same genes as the cell donor. Then the embryo is implanted into an adult female’s uterus to grow.
Artificial gene synthesis
  • Artificial gene synthesis, or simply gene synthesis, refers to a group of methods that are used in synthetic biology to construct and assemble genes from nucleotides de novo.
  • Unlike DNA synthesis in living cells, artificial gene synthesis does not require template DNA, allowing virtually any DNA sequence to be synthesized in the laboratory.
  • It comprises two main steps, the first of which is solid-phase DNA synthesis, sometimes known as DNA printing. This produces oligonucleotide fragments that are generally under 200 base pairs. The second step then involves connecting these oligonucleotide fragments using various DNA assembly methods.
  • Because artificial gene synthesis does not require template DNA, it is theoretically possible to make a completely synthetic DNA molecule with no limits on the nucleotide sequence or size.

Q. Consider the following statements:

A digital signature is

  1. an electronic record that identifies the certifying authority issuing it
  2. used to serve as a proof of identity of an individual to access information or server on Internet
  3. an electronic method of signing an electronic document and ensuring that the original content is unchanged

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c) 3 only

Digital signature
  • A digital signature is an electronic, encrypted, stamp of authentication on digital information such as email messages, macros, or electronic documents.
  • A signature confirms that the information originated from the signer and has not been altered.
  • Digital signatures are like electronic “fingerprints.” They are a specific type of electronic signature (e-signature).
  • In the form of a coded message, the digital signature securely associates a signer with a document in a recorded transaction. Digital signatures use a standard, accepted format, called Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), to provide the highest levels of security and universal acceptance.

Q. In the context of wearable technology, which of the following tasks is/are accomplished by wearable devices?

  1. Location identification of a person
  2. Sleep monitoring of a person
  3. Assisting the hearing impaired person

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

Wearable Technology (Wearables)
  • Wearable technology, also known as “wearables,” is a category of electronic devices that can be worn as accessories, embedded in clothing, implanted in the user’s body, or even tattooed on the skin.
  • The devices are hands-free gadgets with practical uses, powered by microprocessors and enhanced with the ability to send and receive data via the Internet. The rapid adoption of such devices has placed wearable technology at the forefront of the Internet of things (IoT).
  • Wearable technology includes devices such as fitness trackers to monitor our fitness levels, smartwatches, heart rate monitors, sleep monitoring of a person and GPS tracking devices to identify the location of a person. Wearable technology also assists the hearing-impaired persons.
  • Different types of Wearables devices:
    • Smart Watches: A watch that does more than just telling time. It provides users notifications on their calls, messages, emails, social media updates, etc.
    • Fitness Tracker: Helps keep a track of the number of steps the user walks each day and continuously monitors the heart rate. Using this information, the devices is able to calculate and report accurate data on calorie burn and exercise done by the user.
    • Head Mounted Display: Takes you to a different world of virtual reality. It provides virtual information directly to your eyes.
    • Sports watches: The wearable devices is especially built for sports personnel who love running, cycling, swimming etc. These devices come with GPS tracker and records information on the user’s pace, heart rate etc.
    • Smart jewellery: Smartwatches are designed as jewelries specially targeting women. These jewelries notify the users of their text messages, calls or emails when their phone is out of reach.
    • Smart Clothing: The smart electronic devices are incorporated into the Wearable Clothing to give an interesting and fashionable look.
    • Implantable: These wearable electronics are surgically implanted under the skin. These are usually used for medical reasons like tracking contraception’s, insulin levels etc.

Q. ‘RNA interference (RNAi)’ technology has gained popularity in the last few years. Why?

  1. It is used in developing gene silencing therapies.
  2. It can be used in developing therapies for the treatment of cancer.
  3. It can be used to develop hormone replacement therapies.
  4. It can be used to produce crop plants that are resistant to viral pathogens.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1, 2 and 4
(b) 2 and 3
(c) 1 and 3
(d) 1 and 4 only

Answer: (a) 1, 2 and 4

RNA interference (RNAi)
  • RNA interference (RNAi) is a biological process in which RNA molecules are involved in sequence-specific suppression of gene expression by double-stranded RNA, through translational or transcriptional repression.
    • Historically, RNAi was known by other names, including co-suppression, post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS), and quelling.
    • RNAi is now known as precise, efficient, stable and better than antisense therapy for gene suppression.
  • Two types of small ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules, microRNA (miRNA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA), are central to components to the RNAi pathway. Once mRNA is degraded, post-transcriptional silencing occurs as protein translation is prevented. Transcription can be inhibited via the pre-transcriptional silencing mechanism of RNAi, through which an enzyme complex catalyzes DNA methylation at genomic positions complementary to complexed siRNA or miRNA.
  • RNAi has an important role in defending cells against parasitic nucleotide sequences (e.g., viruses or transposons) and also influences development of organisms.
Gene Silencing
  • Gene silencing refers to a mechanism by which cells shut down large sections of chromosomal DNA. It is generally used to describe the “switching off” of a gene by a mechanism other than genetic modification.
  • Gene silencing is the regulation of gene expression in a cell to prevent the expression of a certain gene.
  • Gene silencing can occur during either transcription or translation and is often used in research. In particular, methods used to silence genes are being increasingly used to produce therapeutics to combat cancer and other diseases, such as infectious diseases and neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Gene silencing is often considered the same as gene knockdown. When genes are silenced, their expression is reduced. In contrast, when genes are knocked out, they are completely erased from the organism’s genome and, thus, have no expression.

Q. Recently, Scientists observed the merger of giant blackholes’ billions of light-years away from the Earth. What is the significance of this observation?

(a) ‘Higgs boson particles’ were detected.

(b) ‘Gravitational waves’ were detected.

(c) Possibility of inter-galactic space travel through ‘wormhole’ was confirmed.

(d) It enabled the scientists to understand ‘singularity’.

Answer: (b) ‘Gravitational waves’ were detected.

Gravitational Waves
  • Gravitational waves are waves of the intensity of gravity that are generated by the accelerated masses of binary stars and other motions of gravitating masses, and propagate as waves outward from their source at the speed of light.
  • Albert Einstein predicted their existence in his general theory of Relativity in 1916.
  • Production of Gravitational Waves:
    • Cataclysmic Events: The strongest gravitational waves originate from colliding black holes, supernovae, and colliding neutron stars.
    • Neutron Star Rotation: Gravitational waves can also be produced by the rotation of non-perfectly spherical neutron stars and possibly remnants of gravitational radiation from the Big Bang.
  • Features and Detection
    • Gravitational waves are challenging to detect due to their weak interaction with matter. Sensitive instruments like interferometers, such as the LIGO, are developed to detect gravitational waves by measuring tiny disturbances in space-time.
    • The first direct observation of gravitational waves was made in 2015, when a signal generated by the merger of two black holes was received by the LIGO gravitational wave detectors in Livingston, Louisiana, and in Hanford, Washington.
  • Why detect them?
    • Gravitational waves provide a new way of observing the universe, allowing scientists to study and explore phenomena that were previously inaccessible.
    • They provide valuable information about astrophysical events, such as the merger of black holes or neutron stars.
    • They can offer insights into the nature of gravity, the properties of massive objects, and the early universe itself.
Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT)
  • GMRT is a low-frequency radio telescope that helps investigate various radio astrophysical problems ranging from nearby solar systems to the edge of the observable universe.
  • Located at Khodad, 80 km north of Pune, the telescope is operated by the National Centre of Radio Astrophysics (NCRA).
    • NCRA is a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai.
    • GMRT is a project of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), operating under the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).
  • It consists of 30 fully- steerable dish type antennas of 45-meter diameter each, spread over a 25-km region.
    • GMRT is presently the world’s largest radio telescope operating at meter wavelength.
  • GMRT is a very versatile instrument for investigating a variety of radio astrophysical problems. Two of its most important astrophysical objectives are:
    • to detect the highly redshifted spectral line of neutral Hydrogen expected from protoclusters or protogalaxies before they condensed to form galaxies in the early phase of the Universe;
      • Redshift represents the signal’s wavelength change depending on the object’s location and movement.
    • to search for and study rapidly-rotating Pulsars in our galaxy.
      • Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars with extremely high densities.
      • A pulsar is like a cosmic lighthouse as it emits radio beams that flashes by the Earth regularly akin to a harbour lighthouse.

Q. Which of the following are the reasons for the occurrence of multi-drug resistance in microbial pathogens in India?

  1. Genetic predisposition of some people
  2. Taking incorrect doses of antibiotics to cure diseases
  3. Using antibiotics in livestock farming
  4. Multiple chronic diseases in some people

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1, 3 and 4
(d) 2, 3 and 4

Answer: (b) 2 and 3 only

  • Multidrug-resistant organisms are bacteria that have become resistant to certain antibiotics, and these antibiotics can no longer be used to control or kill the bacteria. Bacteria that resist treatment with more than one antibiotic are called multidrug-resistant organisms.
  • Reasons for the occurrence of multi-drug resistance in microbial pathogens in India are –
    • Taking incorrect doses of antibiotics to cure diseases.
    • The use of a high volume of antibiotics in livestock farming contributes to the development of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.
      • These bacteria can be transmitted from animals to humans via direct contact with animals, or through the food chain and the environment. 
    • Inadequate sanitary conditions.
    • Inappropriate food handling, and
    • Poor infection control.
  • Antibiotics:
    • Antibiotics are remarkable drugs capable of killing biological organisms in one’s body without harming the body.
    • These are used for everything from preventing infections during surgeries to protecting cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
      • India is the world’s largest consumer of antibiotics. India’s excessive antibiotic usage is leading to a powerful never before seen mutation within bacteria.
  • Drug Resistance:
    • Drug resistance happens when one overuses antibiotics in the treatment of humans, animals as well as plants.
      • When a new antibiotic is introduced, it can have great, even lifesaving results but only for some time. After that, the bacteria adapts and gradually the antibiotics become less effective.
    • Antibiotic resistance has the potential to affect people at any stage of life. When a person is infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria, not only the treatment of that patient becomes difficult, but antibiotic resistant bacteria may spread to other people as well.
    • When antibiotics do not work, the situation may lead to more complicated diseases, the use of stronger and expensive drugs and gradually more deaths caused by bacterial infections.
    • The spread of antibiotic resistance worldwide is undermining decades of progress in fighting bacterial infections.
Genetic predisposition
  • A genetic predisposition (sometimes also called genetic susceptibility) is an increased likelihood of developing a particular disease based on a person’s genetic makeup. A genetic predisposition results from specific genetic variations that are often inherited from a parent.
  • These genetic changes contribute to the development of a disease but do not directly cause it. Some people with a predisposing genetic variation will never get the disease while others will, even within the same family.
  • Genetic testing is able to identify individuals who are genetically predisposed to certain diseases.
Chronic Disease
  • Chronic disease or chronic illness is a health condition or disease that is persistent or otherwise long-lasting in its effects or a disease that comes with time.
  • Chronic diseases are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both.
  • Common chronic diseases include: diabetes, functional gastrointestinal disorder, eczema, arthritis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, autoimmune diseases, genetic disorders and some viral diseases such as hepatitis C and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Q. What is Cas9 protein that is often mentioned in news?

(a) A molecular scissors used in targeted gene editing

(b) A biosensor used in the accurate detection of pathogens in patients

(c) A gene that makes plants pest-resistant

(d) A herbicidal substance synthesized in genetically modified crops

Answer: (a) A molecular scissors used in targeted gene editing

  • CRISPR technology is a gene-editing technology that can be used for the purpose of altering genetic expression.
  • CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) scans the genome for the right location and then uses the Cas9 protein as molecular scissors in targeted DNA.
  • The Cas9 protein is an enzyme that cuts the two strands of Double helix DNA at a specific location in the genome. 
  • Cas9 is a bacterial RNA-guided endonuclease that uses base pairing to recognize and cuts the targeted DNAs guided by the RNA.

Q. Which one of the following statements is not correct?

(a) Hepatitis B virus is transmitted much like HIV.

(b) Hepatitis B, unlike Hepatitis C, does not have a vaccine.

(c) Globally, the number of people infected with Hepatitis B and C viruses arc several times more than those infected with HIV.

(d) Some of those infected with Hepatitis B and C viruses do not show the symptoms for many years.

Answer: (b) Hepatitis B, unlike Hepatitis C, does not have a vaccine.

Hepatitis B
  • It is an infectious disease caused by an infection with the Hepatitis B virus. It is contracted through flat tired wounds, contact with blood, saliva, fluids of an infectious body.
  • Sharing personal belongings such as razors or toothbrush of an infected person can also cause Hepatitis B.
  • Hepatitis B symptoms include abdominal pain, fatigue, and jaundice. Symptoms do not come to the limelight until one to six months. It could be diagnosed through a common blood test.
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine could be done for both adults and children. It comprises three intramuscular vaccines. Second and third vaccines are provided after one and six months of the first vaccine.
Hepatitis C
  • It is an infection that is caused by the Hepatitis C virus in the liver. This can be transferred from needles that have been infected, at the time of birth (i.e. transmitted from infected mother to child)through body fluids of an infected person, having sex with multiple partners specifically with HIV-infected persons. It is also rarely found in semen (cum) and vaginal fluids.
  • Hepatitis C is mainly passed on through using contaminated needles and syringes or sharing other items with infected blood on them. It’s also a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can be passed on through unprotected sex, especially when blood is present.
  • It does not spread through food or water.
  • Symptoms include loss of appetite, tiredness, frequently occurring fever, yellowing of your skin or eyes, joint pain, abnormalities in urine, and abdominal pain. These signs occur after six or seven weeks of exposure to a virus. Signs might take even several years to appear in rare cases.
  • However, unlike hepatitis B, it is not sexually transmitted and there is no known vaccine for hepatitis C.

Read here: Hepatitis – Causes, Treatment & Types

Q. The word ‘Denisovan’ is sometimes mentioned in media in reference to

(a) fossil of a kind of dinosaurs

(b) an early human species

(c) a cave system found in North-East India

(d) a geological period in the history of Indian subcontinent

Answer: (b) an early human species

  • Denisovans are an extinct species of hominid.
  • Fossil evidence of the Denisovans first identified in 2010.
  • The jawbone discovered in the Tibetan Plateau and dated to more than 160,000 years ago, is the first Denisovan fossil found outside the Siberian cave.